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  • 7/24/2019 Band Score 8


    Band score 8.0 range of grammarThis lesson looks at the idea of range of grammar. If you are aiming for a high band score, it is not

    simply enough not to make mistakes, you also need to show that you can use a number of different

    grammatical constructions. First of all, I talk you through some principles and then I give you some

    practical suggestions on what sort of grammar can help and, just as importantly, how to use it.

    Test yourself first

    Before you read on. You might want to ask yourself these questions:

    1. Am I going to impress more with longer sentences?2. Do I have a strategy for when I use simpler grammar and more complex

    grammar?3. When and why do I use complex grammar lie relative and conditional clauses?

    An essay should combine simple with complex grammar

    This is the starting point. A well-written essay should be relatively easy to read. This means that

    you need to combine the simple with the complex. Where you have straightforward to say, you

    should not try and show off your grammar by making it seem complex indeed, thats a verycommon mistake.

    Typically, you should aim for:

    simple structures when you are maing main points ! often in the openingand"or closing sentences of your paragraphs

    more complex structures when you are explaining"developing those main pointsin the #ody of your paragraphs

    a movement from the more simple to the more complex

    When you have something simple to say, say it simply. Only use complex structures for morecomplex thoughts.

    Close Me

    This paragraph expresses some complex thoughts, but it starts off simply to make the main point.

    The major argument against hosting international sporting events is financial.Typically, it can cost

    several million pounds to build the arenas and modernise the infrastructureso thatit can cater

    for the athletes and the spectators. This money, it is argued,would be better spenton welfare and

    education programmesthat provide direct support for the population.Indeed, some governments

    have incurredso much debt through hosting the Olympic Gamesthatthey have had to reduce

    spending on other social programmes.
  • 7/24/2019 Band Score 8


    The first sentence of this paragraph is simple. All I want to do is make clear that the main reason is

    financial. I use simple clear English so that reader gets the main point. The grammar is It is


    The next sentences are more complex and use complex structures to express more complex


    so thatbecause I am talking about results

    would be better spentbecause I am talking conditionally

    that provide direct support for the populationbecause I am defying my terms

    An essay should combine longer and shorter sentences

    In many ways this is the same point. It is absolutely not the case of long sentences good, short

    sentences bad. There will be times when a short sentence is more effective than a long sentence.In general, though, you should avoid the extremes of very long and very short. Also, you need to

    ask yourself how complex your sentences are. Shorter sentences can work:

    1. if they are used in com#ination with longer sentences$ or2. if they are relatively complex

    %onger sentences can wor&

    1. if they are used with shorter sentences$ or2. if they are simpler in structure 'using (and) and (#ut)*

    Be careful of too many long, complex sentences and too many short simplesentences

    Close Me

    None of the sentences in this paragraph are particularly long for short.

    Another way in which free public transport could improve our quality of life relates to

    congestion.Currently, the trend is for increasing numbers of people to choose to drive to work.This

    means that in many cases the rush hour is several hours long and it is sometimes almost

    impossible to travel across a city.It is probable that this level of congestion would be reduced by

    making public transport free.

    The first sentence is shorter because it is the opening sentence of the para and it also includes the

    complex in which construction.

    The second sentence is shortish again because it is merely stating a fact no need to make it

    more complex

    The third sentence is a longer sentence, but it is simply linked using and

    The final sentence is again relatively short/simple sentence but it does contain a conditional

    would and a by structure.
  • 7/24/2019 Band Score 8


    xamples of grammar that can wor!

    This is not intended to be a list of advanced grammar points that will guarantee you a band score

    8.0. Rather, the idea here is to show yougrammar connects to meaning. You should never just

    use a structure because it is good grammar. Instead, you need to ask yourself what is the best

    way I can express this point.

    The best writers use these structures when they need to, not because they think they have

    to". the passi#e

    I start with the passive because it is so often misused. It is not the case that the passive is an

    academic structure that should be used in essays. We use it all the time in all sorts of contexts.

    Here, though, is one way you might find it helpful in writing:to avoid repeating words

    especially nouns/pronouns.You may want to avoid using some words too much especially

    words from the question. Here the passive can help you. In a question about government action,

    rather than writing:

    The government should introduce measures to

    you can try

    Measures should be introduced

    so that you dont repeat the word government.

    $. %elati#es

    This is another piece of grammar you need to feel comfortable with and can help you. You should

    be careful, however, not to overuse relatives as they can make your writing both confusing and

    confused. One tip I would give you here is to try and restrict yourself to one relative per sentence

    and to try andavoid them in already complex sentences. Look at this example:

    There is a real danger that allowing people to travel for free would deprive transport authorities

    funds which they need and lead to a lower standard of service.

    The relative can be avoided by changing it into an adjective phrase:

    There is a real danger that allowing people to travel for free would deprive transport authorities of

    much needed funds and lead to a lower standard of service.

    When you do use relatives though is to define terms and add detail. Here is an example in action:

    More than that, if the authorities plan carefully, they can use the occasion of the sporting event to

    help finance public works which benefit the whole population in the long term.

    I want to say what sort of public works I am referring to so I define them in the relativewhichbenefit the whole population in the long term.

  • 7/24/2019 Band Score 8


    &. Conditionals

    Here is another piece of grammar that can help you out. Provided that is, you see how and when to

    use it.One of the best ways to use these conditionals to explain and give examples.This

    means they are likely to come in the body of your paragraphs and not the introduction/opening

    sentence. Try this example:

    There is also, however, a strong argument not to implement this proposal. This argument is based

    on economic competitiveness.If a company was forced to employ more workers to produce thesame amount of goods, then its wage bill would rise and its products might become more

    expensive and less competitive compared to companies with longer working weeks.In this case, it

    is possible that the company eithermightbecome insolvent or itwouldhave to make some

    employees redundant. As a result, the intended benefit to the personnelwould nothappen.

    This time around I have given you the whole para so that you can see the context. I use a

    conditional because I am explaining a point. You should also see that we use might and would

    in the following sentences even though there is no if.

    Do you want to show off? Then you might consider using conditionals that do not use if. So you

    could use:

    Were a company to be forced

    '. (arallel structures

    There are a number of different parallel structures we have in English. They come in useful when

    we arecombining, comparing or contrasting points again something that you are likely to do

    in your essays. This is a useful piece of grammar to focus on, as when used well they make your

    writing more cohesive. For example

    Not onlywould unemployment be reduced,butthe working conditions of employees on very long

    shifts wouldalsobe significantly improved.

    You may think not only..but also is too easy to impress. Dont. Simple things done well impress

    too and this sentence is complex enough as it is.

    ). *erb tenses +of course,- impersonal structures and modals

    The point to remember here is that it is not difficulty of grammar that is important, rather it is varietyof grammar. This means that some bits of grammar that you think are rather simple (e.g. tenses)

    are still important. The point I want to make here is thatthe one tense you are going use most is

    the present simple.Checking my essays, I find that easily the most common tense I use is the